Chiropody vs Podiatry – What is the difference?
So welcome to my first ever FootPro Podiatry blog. I want to use these website blogs to challenge and educate you about all things feet and all things Podiatry… Trust me you will love it. I promise.
Still reading? Good, lets go!
So the one question I get asked more than any other is: what is the difference between a Chiropodist and a Podiatrist? It’s a simple enough question, but it’s a question that Podiatry as a profession fails to clearly address. It creates confusion about the services we provide and the skills Podiatrists possess. So as the profession grows, it becomes even more important for the public to understand the answer.
The answer to the question is as simple as the questions itself. There is technically no difference between the previously held term “Chiropodist” and the modern day term “Podiatry”, they are simply different words meaning the same thing. The term Podiatry was officially created in 1993 to reflect a change in the study, qualification, scientific evidence based practice and improved application of the profession. A way of looking at it is that all Podiatrists can do Chiropody, not all Chiropodists can do Podiatry.
There are also a group of Foot Health Practitioners that work in the community. They are people who do a year long course to do basic foot care treatments but have not got the knowledge and skills Podiatrists have. Legally Foot Health Practitioners cannot refer to themselves as Podiatrists or Chiropodists unless they have formal qualifications in the profession.
I am a Podiatrist. I have never been a Chiropodist. As a Podiatrists I am fully trained, assessed and qualified through a three year Batchelor of Science degree to ensure that I am specialist in feet and lower limbs. I am both accountable to the Health Care Professions council and the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists. To obtain this, you have to train five days a week for three years with intense placement. It is a great privilege to be able to have this qualification and be a member of these great societies.
Podiatrists are devoted to the study, diagnosis and medical treatment of disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremity. We do not just treat and relieve painful issues, we prevent and correct deformity to ensure we keep people mobile and active. Here is a video from the Society of Chiropodists explaining more:
As you can see, Podiatrists manage and treat a huge range of issues from simple hard skin and tough nails, to providing orthotics and exercises, to getting rid of chronic long-term pain. We can treat and assess diabetic ulcers and help provide information and educate patients about how to manage their auto immune conditions. The knowledge we have of the lower extremity and the feet is unrivalled by any other profession.
People often look at Podiatry as an “unusual” profession. Now I admit, it’s not the most glamorous at times. Yet, the difference we can make to peoples lives, from young children to the immobile elderly gives us a great sense of job satisfaction and we can go to bed knowing that we made a difference to peoples lives.
If you have any pain, difficulties or worries about anything from your lower back down to your feet, why don’t you come and visit FootPro Podiatry today – you won’t leave disappointed.